Platanus hybrida Brot.

London sycamore

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

London sycamore is also known as London planetree, with the word "plane" referring to its broad, maple-shaped leaves. Native to Europe, this handsome tree is sometimes planted as a street tree or screen; its platy, greenish-gray bark is attractive. Small yellow flowers produced in April or May mature into spiny, globular, compound fruits later in the season.

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats)

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
New England state
Massachusetts
Growth form
the plant is a tree
Leaf type
the leaf blade is simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
Leaves per node
there is one leaf per node along the stem
Leaf blade edges
the edge of the leaf blade has lobes, or it has both teeth and lobes
Leaf duration
the leaves drop off in winter (or they wither but persist on the plant)
armature on plant
the plant does not have spines, prickles, or thorns
Leaf blade length
120–250 mm
Leaf blade width
100–240 mm
Leaf stalk
the leaves have leaf stalks
Fruit type (general)
the fruit is dry but does not split open when ripe
Bark texture
the bark of an adult plant peels off easily or hangs off
Twig winter color
  • brown
  • gray
  • red
Bud scale number
there is one scale on the winter bud, and it covers the scale like a cap
Show All Characteristics
  • Buds or leaf scars
    Bud scale number
    there is one scale on the winter bud, and it covers the scale like a cap
    Bud scar shape (Fraxinus)
    NA
    Collateral buds
    there are no collateral buds on the sides of the branches
    Superposed buds
    there are no superposed buds on the branch
  • Flowers
    Enlarged sterile flowers
    there are no enlarged sterile flowers on the plant
    Flower appearance
    the flowers appear at the same time as the leaves
    Flower petal color
    NA
    Flower symmetry
    there are two or more ways to evenly divide the flower (the flower is radially symmetrical)
    Hairs on ovary (Amelanchier)
    NA
    Hypanthium present
    the flower does not have a hypanthium
    Inflorescence type
    • the flowers grow out of the axil (point where a branch or leaf is attached to the main stem)
    • the inflorescence has only one flower on it
    Number of pistils
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6 or more
    Ovary position
    the ovary is above the point of petal and/or sepal attachment
    Petal and sepal arrangement
    the flower includes two cycles of petal- or sepal-like structures
    Petal appearance
    NA
    Petal fusion
    NA
    Sepal cilia (Ilex)
    NA
    Stamen number
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
    Stamens fused
    the stamens are not fused to one another
  • Fruits or seeds
    Berry color
    NA
    Fruit tissue origin
    there are no flower parts that form part of the fruit
    Fruit type (general)
    the fruit is dry but does not split open when ripe
    Fruit type (specific)
    • the fruit is an achene (dry, usually 1-seeded, does not separate or split open at maturity)
    • the fruit is an aggregate (composed of multiple fused ovaries from one flower)
    Nut with spines (Fagaceae)
    NA
    Wings on fruit
    there are no wings on the fruit
  • Glands or sap
    Sap color
    the sap is clear and watery
    Stalked glands on fruit (Rosa)
    NA
  • Growth form
    Growth form
    the plant is a tree
  • Leaves
    Hairs on upper side of leaf blade
    • the upper side of the leaf is fuzzy or hairy
    • the upper side of the leaf is not hairy, or has very few hairs
    Leaf blade base shape
    • The base of the leaf blade is cordate (heart-shaped, with rounded lobes)
    • the base of the leaf blade is truncate (ends abruptly in a more or less straight line as though cut off)
    Leaf blade edges
    the edge of the leaf blade has lobes, or it has both teeth and lobes
    Leaf blade edges (Acer)
    NA
    Leaf blade hairs
    the hairs on the leaf blade are different from the choices given
    Leaf blade length
    120–250 mm
    Leaf blade scales
    there are no scales on the leaf blades
    Leaf blade shape
    the leaf blade is ovate (widest below the middle and broadly tapering at both ends)
    Leaf blade texture
    the leaf blade is herbaceous (has a leafy texture)
    Leaf blade translucent dots
    there are no translucent dots on the leaf blade
    Leaf blade width
    100–240 mm
    Leaf duration
    the leaves drop off in winter (or they wither but persist on the plant)
    Leaf lobe tips (Quercus)
    NA
    Leaf stalk
    the leaves have leaf stalks
    Leaf stalk nectaries
    there are no nectaries on the leaf stalk
    Leaf teeth
    the leaf blade margin is serrate (with forward-pointing) or dentate (with outward-pointing) with medium-sized to coarse teeth
    Leaf teeth hairs (Carya)
    NA
    Leaf type
    the leaf blade is simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
    Leaves per node
    there is one leaf per node along the stem
    Specific leaf type
    the leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets
  • Place
    Habitat
    terrestrial
    New England state
    Massachusetts
    Specific habitat
    man-made or disturbed habitats
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Aerial roots
    the plant has no aerial roots
    Bark texture
    the bark of an adult plant peels off easily or hangs off
    Branch brittleness (willows only)
    NA
    Branch cross-section
    the branch is circular in cross-section, or it has five or more sides, so that there are no sharp angles
    First-year cane (Rubus)
    NA
    Twig papillae (Vaccinium species only)
    NA
    Twig winter color
    • brown
    • gray
    • red
    Wings on branch
    the branch does not have wings on it
    armature on plant
    the plant does not have spines, prickles, or thorns

Wetland Status

Not classified

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
absent
Maine
absent
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
absent
Rhode Island
absent
Vermont
absent

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

Native to North America?

No

Sometimes Confused With

Platanus occidentalis

Synonyms

  • Platanus acerifolia (Ait.) Willd.

Family

Platanaceae

Genus

Platanus

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

1.  Platanus hybrida Brot. E

London sycamore. Platanus acerifolia (Ait.) Willd. • MA. Railroads, waste areas. The exact origin of this European tree is unknown (Tutin 1993a). Some authorities suggest it is the hybrid product of Platanus occidentalis and P. orientalis L., having arisen in the 17th century. Others suggest it is a cultivar of P. orientalis.